Air Emission Control Tech – Case Study


SPEC has worked with several clients in their efforts to comply with EPA regulations. We have supported our clients in various capacities from providing calculations for permit applications to actually evaluating control technology and installing it at the client’s site.

Some case studies are below:
  • One client who had already hired an environmental consultant to help prepare their emissions permit as part of their expansion project, when SPEC was brought on to provide calculations and emissions estimates as well as documents to estimate the size and specifications of the control technology required. During the evaluation, it was determined that although the client had already implemented scrubbing technology for their ammonia emissions, their expansion would increase the levels of ethanol which would need to be controlled by a regenerative thermal oxidizer. After helping provide the emissions documentation for the application, SPEC installed the regenerative thermal oxidizer on site to bring the client into compliance.
  • Another client who hired SPEC for a relocation and process expansion project, for which they knew there would be some emissions to address but hadn’t yet defined the scope of what the emissions were (toluene, acetone, and methyl ethyl ketone (MEK)) or how to control them. While they were investigating their emissions, the client found out they fell under a regulation that required them to perform a BACT (Best Achievable Control Technology) analysis – to determine not only the technology that would control the emissions best, but would also be cost effective (i.e. reduce how many tons of emissions/dollar spent). SPEC helped the client perform the BACT analysis, supplying the calculations and then recommending the technology that best fit with the BACT guidelines.
  • A client who had been fined by the DEP and were told they had to take action to reduce their emissions. They already had a scrubber in place to control their process emissions; however, they were required to install a control technology to reduce their emissions further. They chose a regenerative thermal oxidizer because they couldn’t recycle the air in their facility, so when they discharged the emissions they were also losing the heat that was in their air. Installing a regenerative thermal oxidizer allowed them to pass the air with their emissions through it so that it burned off the emissions and then discharged “clean” air while also retaining the heat in their facility so that it isn’t wasted. SPEC specified and purchased the RTO for the client as well as completed the design and installation of the associated HVAC system improvements.
Companies establishing new plants or modifying their processes should always err on the side of caution: installing control technology, such as, a thermal oxidizer preemptively, before high levels of toxic emissions are produced. Although EPA regulations and state environmental regulations are often confusing or difficult to implement, the alternative of a fine plus required compliance with regulations means that it is almost always more cost effective to implement the control technology during an expansion, renovation, or change to a manufacturing process.


Add a Comment

SPEC Process Engineering & Construction